Obama on NAFTA, just campaign rhetoric

Today, on the campaign trail Obama was repeating Clinton's position on NAFTA regarding ending it unless certain aspects were fixed. That he's using her exact language doesn't bother me, but apparently someone from his campaign called a Canadian Minister to tell him that Obama would be talking against NAFTA but this is just campaign rhetoric and should not be taken seriously. Seriously.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/st ory/CTVNews/20080227/dems_nafta_080227/2 0080227?hub=CTVNewsAt11

Words can be powerful and they can be empty. That's the problem with Obama we're not sure whether there is any substance to his words. I completely reject the notion that BO is a JFK or MLK, because when those men spoke I knew exactly what they were saying.

When Barack Obama speaks I feeling like I'm getting a whole lot of airy campaign rhetoric.

Hillary Clinton inspires me and assures me that she knows of what she speaks, she understands the political, social and economical impact of the words she says. In these dire times we need her leadership to command our military, get us out of Iraq while keeping us safe, and helping us to rebuild our lives after the melee of the Bush presidency.

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Obama Enigma - WA Post editorial

One of the things I've been struggling with as a democrat is the unanswered question -- is Obama going to push a progressive, centrist or conservative agenda. I honestly don't know. He's taken some of Hillary Clinton's plans and said he'd advocate for those, some of John Edward's as well. But then, apparently he's taken some of Ron Paul's and Rudi Guiliani's ideas as well. Good ideas are everywhere, but I want my president to be able to discern good ideas from bad ones. I've suffered for 7 years 2 months under a president whose ideas were not his own, and as such he didn't have the ability to adjust and steer new courses when things went terribly awry. I don't want that again.

In today's Washington Post there was an editorial called Obama Enigma. Part of it talked about his reputation as the most liberal senator in the Senate, and then there was this:

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How do we measure experience?

I am compelled to write this diary because Obama supporters continue to make this false claim that if Hillary is going to refer to her 35 years of experience she must take responsibility for all of the legislation passed during Bill Clinton's presidency.

Here is an example of the type of comment I am referring to:

"Also, Clinton's message has serious flaws: She said she had 35 years of experience, which includes her time in the White House when NAFTA was signed by her husband. But she is acting like she is not responsible for NAFTA. She wants it both ways. The truth of the matter is that if she claims the 35 years experience, then logically NAFTA is part of it. She must take responsibility." by maymok

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Al Sadr playing a role in Democratic Politics

In the AP today there was a story about several rocket attacks on the green zone. Apparently a rebel group of Shiites have broken away from Al Sadr and refused to abide by his cease-fire. But, what interested me most was this:

"The Al-Sadr cease-fire was extended until the 15th of Shaban, a reference to the Islamic month before Ramadan, which would mean mid-August."

It made me wonder if even Al-Sadr was interfering in the nomination processes and elections of the United States. First they go quiet so we can nominate in inexperienced commander and a "stay for 100 years" guy, then in August they can start blowing things up again so that the hawk wins.

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Hillary Clinton and One Africa

Every day I'm impressed by the reasoned and rapid response Hillary has to events occurring here at home and abroad. I believe the man who said he met her once and she was off the charts smart. It's as though she has a keen comprehension of the social, political and economic pressures and realities of every event and what the appropriate American response should be.

The woman awes and inspires me.

Below is the text of her One Africa message:

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Hillary speaks out on Castro

Again, I'll just let Hillary speak for herself:

Statement from Hillary Clinton on Fidel Castro

"As you know, Fidel Castro announced that he is stepping down as Cuba's leader after nearly 50 years of one-man rule. The new leadership in Cuba will face a stark choice -- continue with the failed policies of the past that have stifled democratic freedoms and stunted economic growth -- or take a historic step to bring Cuba into the community of democratic nations. The people of Cuba want to seize this opportunity for real change and so must we.

"I would say to the new leadership, the people of the United States are ready to meet you if you move forward towards the path of democracy, with real, substantial reforms. The people of Cuba yearn for the opportunity to get out from under the weight of this authoritarian regime, which has held back 11 million talented and hardworking citizens of the Americas. The new government should take this opportunity to release political prisoners and to take serious steps towards democracy that give their people a real voice in their government.

"The American people have been on the side in the Cuban people's struggle for freedom and democracy in the past and we will be on their side for democracy in the future.

"As President, I will engage our partners in Latin America and Europe who have a strong stake in seeing a peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba, and who want very much for the United States to play a constructive role to that end. The United States must pursue an active policy that does everything possible to advance the cause of freedom, democracy and opportunity in Cuba.

"The events of the past three days, including elections in Pakistan and Kosovo's declaration of independence, are a vivid illustration of people around the world yearning for democracy and opportunity. We need a President with the experience to recognize and seize these opportunities to advance America's values and interests around the world. I will be that President."

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Hillary on Kosovoa

Here is Hillary's statement on Kosovoa:
Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Kosova Independence

I welcome the historic declaration of Kosova independence issued today in Pristina. I urge our friends and allies and around the world to join the United States and European Union countries in promptly recognizing an independent Kosova.

This is a historic step that will allow the people of Kosova to finally live in their own democratic state. It will allow Kosova and Serbia to finally put a difficult chapter in their history behind them and to move forward. Resolving this issue has taken too long and has held both of these proud peoples back from pursuing a better European and Euro-Atlantic future. It is time now for all of us to look ahead and to focus on the challenge of building an independent Kosova and supporting a democratic Serbia in an integrated Europe.

I want to underscore the need to avoid any violence or provocations in the days and weeks ahead. Kosovars and Serbs have seen too much violence and too many provocations in the past. It is time to focus on improving the lives of people living in both countries and the integration of these countries into the West.

In recognizing the independence of Kosova, I want to stress the high importance that I attach to full protection of the rights of all minorities in Kosova, especially the Serbs, and to safeguard Serbian cultural and religious heritage sites in Kosova. The international community must stand firm on these points.

I remain concerned about the deterioration of the situation in neighboring Bosnia and urge the Bush Administration to pay more attention to this issue, so that it does not once again become a major threat to European stability.

I regret that it has taken so long for us to reach this historic juncture and that the Bush Administration has not always given the issues of Kosova, Serbia's democratic future, and the Balkans the attention they deserve. This has helped contribute to the complicated and risky situation on the ground in the Balkans that we still face today. I look forward to working with the democratic leaders in this region and will once again make the full integration of the Western Balkans into Europe and the Euro-Atlantic community the priority it should be.

End of Hillary post

My post:How is it that anyone could actually think Obama is a better candidate for president of the united states? I do not get that? I understand the youth vote -- they, as a rule, don't think experience counts for anything and their world isn't much bigger than the community they live in. Nevertheless, I expect the adults, the mature ones, the ones who understand that this isn't a popularity contest, I expect them to understand that the circumstances are far too serious and the job much too important to anoint an inexperienced, uninformed young man to handle the responsibility.

Being on the streets of Chicago, or in the Illinois senate, or getting a bill passed in the US Senate that means the budget has to be made available on the web (no matter how nice that is) doesn't give someone the experience they need to be president of these United States. It doesn't. I hope the great people of WI, HI, OH, TX, PA, RI, and all the rest, recognize that.

We are a nation at war and we need a president who can extricate us from conflict with the reasoned response of a statesperson.

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Let's have real primaries

Is there anything more undemocratic than a caucus?

In my Seattle caucus today, overwhelmingly for Obama, us Hillary supporters were older, and less aggressive than the Obama supporters. We didn't have a chance against the Obama caucus machine. First, the put 90 Obama supporters right in the middle between Hillary supporters and the undecideds. While they had been asked to move to the side first, they en-mass said "No, put Clinton over there." I tried to talk about fairness, and democracy but wasn't heard over the Obama cheers and Clinton character assassination.

Frankly, if our next presidential nominee is going to be selected by a small subset of the population I don't want it to be made by many of the Obama supporters I met today. (And yes, caucusing means that a selection is being made by a much smaller sample of the state than if you hold a primary. People work, have childcare obligations, are sick and infirm and have a whole host of reasons why they can't make it to a caucus.) Don't get me wrong, some were nice...but, some were awful. They can't say the same about the Clinton supporters because we were a much quieter and less aggressive group. My partner just wanted to help people.

Intimidation is a factor in caucuses. It's something the democratic party has to deal with which is why I want the democratic party to do away with them completely. The last thing democrats need when trying to build party unity is one half winning votes by scaring the other half.

People were lined up to change their votes and the captain just stood up and said "No more changes." She was going to change her vote from Obama to Hillary.

Not only does there have to be a better way, there is...and I urge all democrats to pressure their states to switch to primaries so that we can finally find out what the voters want.

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Obama has no right

It is quite arrogant, and divisive, for Obama to claim that he will get Hillary's voters, while she won't get his. I'm a long time Democrat, a believer in social justice and the rights of women and the poor and disenfranchised, but if there's one thing that could make me steer away from a democratic candidate it would be statements like that.

Women, hispanics, asians, native americans, and white males and african americans and young and old people all have a right to their vote. No one should claim they will get or deserve each vote without working for it.

To date, Obama hasn't shown me what change he stands for. He says he stands for a change from negative and divisive politics and then engages in the ugliest of political attacks. He says he's for universal health care and then tries to kill it. He says he's against special interests (whatever that means) and then works with Exelon to develop compromise legislation on nuclear safety. He says he'll bring people together and then he sets about tearing apart the democratic party.

I'm voting for Hillary and begging Obama to be a man of his word and to stand for the things he says he does.

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